The truth is, if nobody responded to junk mail, it would be gone in a flash. The answer is to refuse to validate junk mail with a response. If people really want something that is promoted in a junk email, they can go online and search for it. But please, ask your friends and family to not respond to any junk mail that they receive. Otherwise, we'll all be fighting spam for years to come. Pass the word: Don't reward spam! This may seem pretty obvious, but it is equally obvious that a lot of people still need to get the message that they can help us all save time by ignoring junk mail offers.
You might want to join a group campaigning against spam. Here is a group which seems to be effective:
As for how to deal with spam in the meantime, it's a challenge. Reminds me of the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. The more the rabbit hit the Tar Baby, the more he was stuck. We want to be able to ignore spam, but wind up spending a lot of time installing anti-spam software and configuring filters. My advice for now is to get a Bayesian Spam filter that can train itself and then get on with your life. (Bayesian filters use statistics to analyse your email by comparing it to prevous junk email that you have received. Apparently the word comes from work done on statistics by Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761.)
For those who like to experiment with advanced filters, I suggest that you check out "JunkMatcher", which is free and adds the capability to filter the variations that spammers like to use (like "v-i-a-g-r-a") to the junk mail filter in OS 10.3's Mail program. See
If you have a web site, here's another suggestion for you. Get hold of a program to encode your email address so that software robots can't harvest your email address from your web site. There are several free email address encoders out there. You will need to enter your email address and the software will give you an encoded version. At that point, you will need to insert the encoded version into your web site. Both programs include instructiions. There is an "Email Address EnKoder" at
Another avenue to protect is the email address that you use for domain-name registrations. Use a separate email address just for that and nothing else, and then filter anyone except the domain-name registrar.
By the way, it is possible to avoid spam. I have one client who doesn't get any spam at all! She never signs up for anything and doesn't give out her email address to anyone but friends.
Spam update: For some time now, I have been using SpamSieve to filter all the mail I get. A while back, I switched from Eudora to Apple's Mail.app for handling my email, and SpamSieve does an excellent job of working along side Mail.app (as it did with Eudora). Now and then, I check the spam folder, but SpamSieve has become very accurate. (SpamSieve learns from you as you go along.) I realize that I have been freed from spam. Thank you SpamSieve:
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